Madonna Named Top Moneymaker of 2008

February 12, 2009 12:23 PM ET

There's no such thing as a "recession" when you're the Material Girl: Madonna earned about $242 million last year to easily top Billboard's Moneymakers List for 2008. Despite the fact that Hard Candy was only the 50th best-selling album last year and that her digital downloads ranked her 14th, Madonna's record-breaking Sticky & Sweet Tour propelled her to the top of the list.

Coming in at number two, almost $100 million behind Madonna, was Bon Jovi with a $157 million take, followed by Bruce Springsteen's $156 million. It should come as no surprise that all 20 of the Moneymakers went on tour last year, and that the five biggest tours of 2008 coincide with the top five Moneymakers. Concerts continue to be the ideal way for artists to profit off the music that no one really buys anymore. The one anomaly on the list is Taylor Swift. Even though she opened for Brad Paisley on the road last year, revenue from that gig didn't count toward her total of $45 million, good enough to finish in 16th place.

Related Stories:

Madonna Tour Rakes In $91.5 Million, On Pace For Records
Madonna Deal Done: Material Mom Signs With Live Nation
Photo Gallery: Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour Hits the U.S.
Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour Rolls Into New York With Reworked Hits, Virtual Britney

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

More Song Stories entries »